News

Headlines and features from the Thoroughbred industry

Strait to Perform at Breeders' Cup Charity Gala

George Strait, a native Texan and Academy of Country Music five-time vocalist of the year, will be the featured performer at the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships "Not Black Tie" Charity Gala Oct. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas.

New Orleans Rivals May Meet in Oaklawn Handicap

Edmund Gann's Peace Rules and Mr. and Mrs. William Warren Jr's Saint Liam, the one-two finishers in the Feb. 29 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, and the past two Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winners--Private Emblem (2002) and Sir Cherokee (2003)--head a list of 17 horses nominated for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) April 3.

Gulfstream Marketing Director Fired; Stakes Purses Cut

David Rovine, Gulfstream Park's director of marketing who played an instrumental role in bringing weekend rock and jazz to the South Florida track, was fired this week as part of a corporate restructuring, said track president Scott Savin.

Here and There...

Brief news and information: Packard nominated to Churchill Downs board of directors...Artwork using horse hair featured at "Horsetails" event.

Kentucky Racing Panel Amendment Generates Conflict

An amendment to require the new 13-member Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to have no more than seven members of the same political party isn't expected to thwart Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher's plans, a state senator said March 25.

Measure Would Authorize Betting Hubs in Kentucky

Legislation to authorize wagering hubs in Kentucky was introduced in the state Senate in early March and is moving through the legislative process as an amendment to a bill that would permit artificially inseminated horses to race in Kentucky. A hub measure was introduced in 2002 but it failed to garner support.

Brian Tobin Elected Magna Vice Chairman

Brian Tobin Elected Magna Vice Chairman

The board of directors of Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Wednesday that it has elected Brian Tobin as a director and vice-chairman of the MEC Board. Tobin is the chief executive officer and a director of MI Developments Inc., which is the majority shareholder of MEC.

Kentucky Derby Trail: Gearing Up For the Main Course

Kentucky Derby Trail: Gearing Up For the Main Course

The first course is over. It is time to take a deep breath and digest the odd smorgasbord of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps that has been laid out so far. Racing fans are starving for something more substantial, and they should get it beginning with the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Illinois Derby (gr. II).

New Lexington Derby Eve Party Champions Causes

A new breed of Derby Eve Party begins with "Evening of Champions." This year Pam Leet's TwoCan Marketing will host the inaugural edition of this new annual event at WinStar Farm, on Pisgah Pike in Versailles, Ky., on April 30.

Yearly Report Takes Center Stage in WinStar Oaks

Trainer Bob Baffert has two live Kentucky Derby (gr. I) prospects in Wimbeldon and Preachinatthebar, and now the white-haired trainer is searching for his Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) starter. On top of his Oaks list is Yearly Report, who will face nine rivals in Saturday's $250,000 WinStar/Sunland Park Oaks.

Churchill to Maintain Enhanced Security for Oaks, Derby

Enhanced security measures used the past two years for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will once again be in effect for this year's runnings, officials for Churchill Downs said Wednesday.

Imperialism Sharp; Baffert Duo Works

Steve Taub's multiple grade II winner Imperialism, getting ready to make his final stop on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 4/5 over Hollywood Park's fast main track Tuesday.

Seabiscuit Stand-In Gets Spotlight

Three Thoroughbred retirement groups--ReRun, the Exceller Fund, and Old Friends--have teamed up to retire Rich in Dallas, one of the dozen horses who played the star Seabiscuit in the movie of the same name.

California Latest State to Focus on Equine 'Milkshakes'

Random pre-race testing for "milkshakes"--the loading of bicarbonates through a stomach tube to reduce fatigue-causing buildup of lactic acid--began at Santa Anita Park in late February, but the California Horse Racing Board is referring to the program as a survey because no penalties will be applied if a horse tests positive.

Busch League

Busch League

By Ray Paulick -- Michael Busch wields a great deal of power in Maryland. The Democratic speaker of the House of Delegates is such a force that he could single-handedly kill a major industry, one valued at $10.6 billion that provides more than 20,000 jobs in his state.

Weighing In

By Larry Levin -- The recent running of the Strub Stakes (gr. II) followed a pre-race diversion into the arcane area of weight assignments. Toccet's connections protested their impost of 123 pounds, arguing that the allowance conditions of the race, properly interpreted, called for only 117. The conditions were so poorly worded that Toccet's owner had to appeal the decision of Santa Anita's officials to the stewards to resolve the matter in Toccet's favor.

Gambling Expert Sheds Doubt on Calif. Slots Plan

A California gambling authority told a group of satellite wagering representatives Monday that he believes a racetrack-sponsored slot machine initiative has little or no chance of passage should it qualify for the November ballot.

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